Our Managing Editor-S.S.Dogra spoke to Famous Advocate Pavan Duggal on several issues of Cyberlaw & Information Technology in India. Excerpts:
|Pavan Duggal – Cyber law expert|
Q. What is the growth graph of Internet in India?
Ans. The users and usage of Internet has grown in India and today Internet is being adopted by increasing number of corporate, industrial, governmental and commercial establishments.
Q. Where was the cyberlaw introduced first time in the world?
Ans. State of Utah became the first state in the world to enact a Cyberlaw.
Q. What is the legal identity for the Internet industry?
Ans.The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law’s (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Commerce on January 30,1997.Inspired by the UNCITRAL law on e-commerce, Government of India decided to enact a law that would make e-contracts legal, electronic records admissible in convenience and which would make cosmetic changes to some other existing laws. Consequently, three key areas were identified-Contract, Indian Penal Code and Evidence. Since a large number of matters fell under the Concurrent list and all of them did not apply to Jammu & Kashmir, the Government had to invoke a special power under Article 253 of the Constitution of India to the Parliament to make a law for India on the model of UNCITRAL Law.
Q. What is the meaning of Cyber Laws?
Ans. According to Department of Information Technology, Govt. of India it provides legal recognition to electronic documents and a framework to support e-filing and e-commerce transactions and also provides a legal framework to mitigate, check cyber crimes.
Q. Is there any Act for Cyberlaw in India?
Ans. Yes, The Information Technology Act,2000( IT Act, 2000 in short). It was implemented on October,17,2000.The Information Technology Act,2000 is the first amongst a series of cyber legislations, which India will require to effectively become a super power in cyberspace. It provides for a legal infrastructure, aimed at promoting E-commerce in India.
Q. What is the object of IT Act,2000?
Ans.The object of The Information Technology Act,2000 is “to provide legal recognition for transactions carried out by means of electronic data interchange and other means of electronic communication, commonly referred to as “electronic commerce”, which involve the use of alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information, to facilitate electronic filing of documents with the Government agencies and further to amend the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Atc,1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act,1891 and the Reserve Bank of India Act,1934 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
Q. What are the positive aspects of the IT Act,2000?
Ans.From the perspective of the relevant stakeholders in the electronic ecosystem, the IT Act 2000 and its provisions contained various positive aspects:
a) Email became a valid and legal form of communication in our country, which can be duly produced and approved in a court of law.
b) Even intra company notes and memos, till now used only for official purposes, also came within the ambit of the IT Act and will be admissible as evidence in a court of law.
c) Companies were able to carry out electronic commerce using the legal infrastructure provided by the Act.
d) Digital signatures were used more frequently to carry out their transactions online. These digital signatures have been given legal validity and sanction in the Act.
e) The Act also enabled companies to file any form, application or any other document with any office, authority, body or agency owned or controlled by the appropriate Government in the electronic form by means of such electronic form, as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government.
f) The IT Act also addressed the important issues of Security which are so critical to the success of electronic transactions.
g) The Information Technology Act,2000 provided for civil and criminal liability for any person, whose computers, computer systems and computer networks were accessed unauthorizedly.
Q. What are the draw backs of Indian Cyberlaw?
Ans. The Indian Cyberlaw had various drawbacks and loopholes. It may be pertinent to mention that the said Act purports to be applicable to not only the whole of India but also to any offence or contravention there under committed outside of India by any person. The enforcement aspect of the IT Act is an area of grave concern. The IT Act,2000 did not touch at all the issues relating to Domain Names. Even domain names were not defined and the rights and liabilities of domain name owners did not find any mention in the said law. The IT Act,2000 also did not deal at all with the Intellectual Property Rights of Domain Name owners. Contentious yet very important issues concerning Copyright, Trademark and Patent were left untouched in the said law thereby leaving many loopholes in the said law. Another major grey area was the draconian powers were given to a police officer not below rank of the Deputy Superintendent of Police under Section 80 of the Act regarding entry, search and arrest regarding the investigation of cybercrimes. The Indian Cyberlaw further did not lay down parameters for its implementation. The substantial growth is taking place in the evolution of jurisprudence of Indian Cyberlaw. However, the same is not sufficient and further large number of substantial advancements need to be done so as to make the Indian Cyberlaw as one of the best cyber legislations of the world.
Q.What is criminal intention?
Ans. Criminal intention covers the following things. A) Against Person b) Against Property & c) Against Nation. Mobile crime also comes under Cyber crime.
Q.What is the remedy of such offence?
Ans. Different Cyber Crime Cells are available state-wise. You may visit the following link to find out the contact address of these cells . You may approach them to meet out the solution of such cyber crime offenders.
Q.What is the punishment provision for the cyberlaw offenders?
Ans.Various kinds of mobile crimes have been sought to be covered within the amended Indian Cyberlaw. Misuse of mobile phones for the purposes of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will has been brought within the ambit of criminal penalty. Any identity theft, committed by means of any computer resource or any communication device, would still qualify to be an offence under the Indian Cyberlaw and would be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs.1 lakh. As per Section 66F(2) it is been categorically provided that whoever commits or conspires to commit cyber terrorism shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to imprisonment for life.
Q. When was the amendment done in the IT Act?
Ans. The Indian Government and the Parliament moved in a quick manner and passed the Information Technology(Amendment) Act 2008. The Information Technology (Amendment) Act,2008 receive the assent of the President on February 5, 2009 and were finally implemented on October 27, 2009. The new amendments sought to remove procedural difficulties in the implementation of the law, make the legislation technology neutral, sought to incorporate the concept of electronic signatures and further added various new cybercrimes in the Information Technology Act,2000.
Q. What is meant by communication device?
Ans. The word “communication device” has been defined by the law to refer to all kinds of cell phones, personal digital assistants, or combinations of both or any other device used to communicate, send or transmit any text, video, audio or image. Thus all kinds of cell phones, blackberries and personal digital assistants have been brought within the ambit of Indian Cyberlaw.
Q. What are the precaution, we should take in the latest Information Technology environment?
Ans. We should be more careful while using the latest Information Technology. Here are few points we should care of:
a)Never share your personal information on the Internet.